Once a ship had been built and launched she then had to be out-fitted, and then complete sea trials
before being handed over to her new owners, who would look to have that ship at sea, as long as possible to pay for her build costs and of course to make the company good profits.
To this end one company may have had no requirement for a particular ship after a time and would then sell her on just like any other disposable commodity.
Hence a ship may have had a few owners and would go through many changes and names during what was hoped for a long and successful working life.
The above photograph shows the BALDER LEITH AFT END on the slipway ready for her launch with the "Black Shed" at her bow, and the Apprentice training centre on the left of the picture.
(The photograph was sent in by ex Henry Robb Shipwright Barry Booth and shown here by permission)
The oil rig supply ship BALDERLEITH was the second of the type of ship that should have been the start of a long list of such ships, just as the North Sea Oil Boom was really taking off the requirement for rig supply ships was great, but it seems that for what ever reason this was another golden opportunity for continued long employment for the Leith Shipyard at Henry Robb wasted by the then ablution that was British Shipbuilders.
Another note of interest is the fact that this Government Quango (British Shipbuilders Ltd) is still going and paying out good money to the flunky's in the house of lords who are still on the board of this total waste of time company, they have been operating for many years principally to deal with all the claims coming in from former shipbuilders who contracted all the deadly diseases such as asbestosis and the like.
Of course due to stalling tactics not much has been paid out to the very few that now survive, but they do pay out salaries and such to those who have been administering this thing for the past 30 or so years.(It may well be getting wound up soon which will mean no more gravy for the flunkey's but also no chance of any relatives getting any compo out of the wound up waste of time and money)
BALDER LEITH AFT END almost ready to launch in 1983 in this photograph by ex Henry Robb Shipwright Barry Booth and shown here by permission.
She was a ship design of a company from Norway called Ulstien who of course have gone on from strength to strength, and if the yard at Leith had been able to capitalise on this market then they could have made big inroads on the path of modernisation as most of the rig supply ships were basically the same so modern production methods could have been introduced instead of each new ship being a totally new job of work.
The use of permanent and semi-permanent jigs and fixtures would have increased production and accuracy dramatically.
The BALDER LEITH takes to the water in this photograph by ex Henry Robb Shipwright Barry Booth and re-produced here by permission.
She is now owned by Italian shipping interests and working as an offshore tug/supply ship. Specialising in Anti-Oil pollution and converted as such.
She is on contract to Brazilian major Petrobras for 4 years and started with them in 2010 she has worked constantly for the past 30 years or so.
We try here to give as full an account of her history as time and research permits, if you know of missing info or you have any photographs of her, then please get in touch and we shall update her story as we go along.